Getty Outlines New Photographer Contract

Posted on 2/1/2001 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



February 1, 2001

Getty has provided their photographers with an outline of features in a new

streamlined cross brand contract. They expect to release the entire contract

sometime in the next two months.

The brands effected are Stone, The Image Bank, and VCG (FPG, TCL, Pix and Bavaria).

The new contract puts VCG and TIB photographers on equal footing with those at


The signers of the letter said, "Our intent is simple: to work in a straightforward

manner with you, and to compensate you fairly for your high quality images." The

letter was signed by: Anthony Harris, Peggy Willett and Roger Ressmeyer.

Highlights of the New Agreement

The agreement is designed to achieve consistency, equity, opportunity, and

flexibility: All commercial (non editorial) photographers will receive the same

general contract - a "master agreement" covering the same terms and conditions for

all brands.

  • Each photographer will also receive an addendum that defines their primary

    brand - the brand to which they are currently contracted.

  • Additional addenda may be offered for other Getty Images brands, now and in

    the future, based on a photographer's style, interests and creativity. The options

    may include additional Rights-Protected (RP) commercial and editorial brands, as

    well as consumer and Royalty Free distribution channels.

  • Each photographer can exercise control over how their images are marketed:

    • Photographers may accept or decline any additional brands and opportunities,

      if offered by our creative teams.

    • Either party may terminate any addendum without disturbing the master

      agreement or any other addendum.

  • Royalty rates among all Getty Images commercial brands will be consistent:

    • Stone rates are unchanged. TIB and VCG (FPG, TCL, Pix, Bavaria) rates will be

      the same as Stone. Rates, equal to the current Stone rates, are as follows:

        50% in territory, analog

        40% in territory, digital

        30% out of territory, analog

        30% out of territory, digital.

  • TIB artists will have a larger home territory, increasing their royalties:

    • All currently contracted TIB photographers whose home territory is currently

      defined as the tri-state area, will have their home territory extended to the whole

      of North America under the new agreement.

    • Going forward, new photographers who sign to TIB will sign to their home

      country's territory, in line with other RP brands.

  • Photographers will control the length of contract:

    • Photographers may choose a two-year, three-year or four-year contract


  • More photographer freedom in the imagery marketplace:

    • Our change from photographer-exclusive to image-exclusive

      relationships for all RP commercial brands allows photographers to more easily

      market declined images elsewhere, provided they aren't similar to their images in

      our collections.

    • Only Getty Images' art-directed images, and those created with our

      confidential information, need to be reviewed first by Getty Images before offering

      them elsewhere.

    • The new contract does not prohibit the licensing of images to any specific


  • Faster payment, reduced bad debt risk,

  • Faster payments - no later than 120 days after a license, rather than when we

    get paid.

  • Protection from bad debt - Getty Images assumes all customer bad debt


  • Catalog fee improvements:

    • Flat, capped catalog fees, providing more ability for you to plan for such


    • Catalog charges will be recouped from specific image sales, not general


    • If an image selected for a catalog does not sell, the artist pays no fee of

      any kind.

  • Copyright © 2001 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

    Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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